Designing Brand Identity For Better Recall

Kirit Jasani
Kirit Jasani


Here comes a case study done for one of our client. Hiramrut Energies Pvt Ltd, He is a manufacturer of Solar water heater, Solar street lights, Solar lantern, Solar home kit and other products which runs on solar energy.Our client had a very complex piece of Art Work as an his logo for almost 25 years, and was not ready to change the same, at initial level. But the right decision has made a great change in visibility which is covered by a National Magazine call – Advertising Express in April 2009.



Why do companies invest so much in designing a brand logo?

Why do companies want to have customised design for different elements of brand?

The possible answers can be to fit the page of advertisement?

 May be yes.

Or could it be to fit the screen of TV set?

May be yes.

 or for better sales figure, may be yes.

However companies must realize that a brand Identity should be design to have a better recall. Unless and until a prospect is able to recall the brand name he will not make a buying decision.  When a customer is recalling a brand he / she is actually trying to convert the sound into the visual. For example when we hear a word King Khan the very moment the sound of word King Khan creates a visual of Shah Rukh Khan in our mind, if someone utters the name Big-B, then it brings the visual of Amitabh  Bachchan in the mind. The same logic applies to a brand also. In most of the case the sound of brand name brings the visual of logo design or Brand Mascot design in mind of prospects. In order to have a better recall the visual has to be very simple. Suppose we ask someone to draw the meaning of following words the reaction could be something like this:

SUN – There are higher chances that the respondent will draw a round and vertical lines which symbolises rays around the round,

HOME – The respondent most likely draw a triangle at the top, draw two vertical lines below it and join those two lines with a horizontal line. The door will be in the form of a U that is flipped 180 degrees. This would be a picture of home for most of the respondents irrespective of type of house they are staying in. However, if we were to ask someone to draw a solar water heater, it s most likely possible that the respondent might not be able to do so


SunRay old-logo

SunRay old-logo

SunRay New Logo

SunRay New Logo



Because the visual of Sun and Home are very simple which is not the case with Solar Water Heater? This indicates that the brand identity of complex products must be designed keeping in mind the logic – a sound creates a visual. An article or object can be identified with the right kind combination of sound and visuals only. Thus, many a times, when we are asked if we know a person, we can vaguely remember the name but cannot recall the person’s face. This means that in such cases, we are not able to convert the sound into visuals. To illustrate the importance of developing a simple, logo a case study of a company called Hiramrut Energies Pvt. Ltd is described.

This company manufactures solar water heater and other products which run on solar energy under a brand name called SunRay. since 1984, the company had  been using the logo given in  Exhibit 1. As shown in exhibit 1, the logo is a complex piece of artwork which might reflect the personal feelings of the board of directors but it fails to give the necessary visibility and recall of brand name itself. Consumers could barely recall the visual (logo) when they heard the brand name SunRay. Apart from this, another problem of the SunRay logo was its visibility. The logo was square, hence consuming more space for any print design. Also, the overlapping lines on the name symbolized the meaning of cancel. Thus, if we were to put the logos of all the solar water manufacturers on one sheet that is if the logos of companies like TATA solar, Warm Stream, V-guard, Redren etc. Were put on one sheet, then the least visible would be that of SunRay. The biggest problem with the logo was that it had too many elements.

So the first step in this process was to convert the logo into a simple one which could be easily recollected by the consumers. An important aspect to be remembered in this regards is that most of the things that we see in everyday life are horizontal. A movie is seen on a horizontal screen, the visiting card is of horizontal proportion (for most of the time), the prints of photographs are also taken in horizontal proportion, and the number plate of vehicles is also design in that proportion only because one is expected to remember it and visualize it. Try to remember when was the last time you took a print of photographs in square format, or someone had handed over a square visiting card in meeting, it is difficult to remember as it is a rare incident!  

This happens because a customer’s mind is bombarded by a large number of brand logos and visuals in all possible sizes, shapes and proportions every day. At the same time, a human mind cannot store all these data. So the mind becomes very selective about the storage of visuals and sound that it is exposed to. The average mind is already a dripping sponge and it can absorb additional information at the cost of what is already there. It screens out most of the information which is not matching the prior experiences or knowledge. In such a scenario to ensure that a consumer identifies a brand identity, the company must make the logo very simple, a complex piece of artwork will not work. Will a customer spend time in analyzing what his/her favorite brand logo means? Average consumers hardly have time for this kind of evaluation. So companies have to keep the brand identity as simple as possible. Thus, in order to ensure easy recall, all the leading brands in any category have simple logo types. For example, the logo of Sony I electronics, Big Baazar in retail, ICICI in banking, Titan in wrist watches, Nike in shoe all are simple. Despite this, few agencies and marketers underestimate the power of simplicity and develop complex brand identities whose understanding requires a lot of explanation. The marketers continue to pour the new and complex information on the logos and are disappointed when their message fails to get through the mind of target audience. So it is time that the marketers realize this fact. The customers are very busy and cannot spare time to analyze the meaning of a complicated logo. Hence, the marketers must not confuse their prospects or targets with complex artwork. Over and above the prospect’s mind is selective, hence the brand identity must be kept as simple as possible for better and easy recall. In order to ensure that a company stands out distinctly in a crowd of competitors, the easiest way is to design the logo type in a horizontal proportion and make it as simple as possible. With all these aspects, SunRay designed another logo which is shown in Exhibit 2.

This new identity brought simplicity and greater visibility for the brand. The symbolic representation of sun was done with soft feelings and a small ray is also included in the new identity. If we compare the old logo and new lgoo in terms of random size i.e., if both the logos are created with same height of 3cm then there is greater visibility in the new identity only. Also if both the old and new logos are printed with a width of 1 cm then the word SunRay can be ready more clearly in the new identity only. Companies must also keep in mind the adaptability of the logo in different mediums while designing the logo. The logos are printed on the product itself, they should be clearly visible. Also since the products could be kept on the shelves in the retail stores, the brand must be clear to customers visit the store or walking across the streets of the shops. The logo should have a proper visibility in print ads, in documentary films and even if the logo is printed in a single colour eh essence of the design must be maintained.

When the identity is bold, it firmly gets registered in the mind of prospects. The bold images of the logo can be easily related to the brand name. there are companies who use reams of papers to explain their identity. These papers carry big answers for few simple and silly questions such as why have they selected a particular colour in their identity? What do the different symbols represent in their identity? Why is a particular type of font used and what does it represent? How does the identity resemble the modern style and culture? But companies must remember that customers do not recall the brand identities with these kinds of explanations in mind. Consumers are comfortable in remembering and recalling a simple brand identity. As a result, this simple logo of SunRay had been designed for easy recall. Companies must work to place their brands in the house of the target segments at a place where the target has to see the brand often and often almost every day. When this happens, it indicates that companies have been successful in keeping their brand name at the top step of product ladder in the minds of the prospects. This would ensure better recall. SunRay devised a strategy which no other solar water heater manufacturer had done. The company developed a supporting character and named it as Mr.Ray. This name was selected as it was a part of the brand name and could help in easy association with the brand SunRay. While designing a new mascot a brand management agency must not look at it as being just an entertaining character, there must be strong identification with the brand. SunRay did the similar thing. After developing the character of Mr.Ray the company used the character in all its promotional activities. For instance the telephone lines of the company had the ringing tone, “hold on please, Mr.Ray will attend you soon”. The factory displayed Mr.Ray showing the different signage etc. Thus, SunRay ensured that there was maximum usage of the brand mascot for better recall. The new mascot, Mr.Ray was launched in an exhibition where the booth was decorated with a promotional scheme. The exhibition had one zone with games exclusively for the kids who were visiting the exhibition along with parents. The kids visiting this stall were attracted to the dangler of Mr.Ray. in order to promote the concept of Mr.Ray, the company distributed the danglers free of cost to the visitors, which were actually created for the trade channels. Later, the company visited few randomly selected homes from its database and found that the danglers were hanging near the door of the drawing room, near study tables or pasted at the wall of drawing room! It was at a place where it cannot go unnoticed. This helped in creating the recall.

SunRay - Revealing News Paper Ad

SunRay - Revealing News Paper Ad

The launch advertisements were also done with a clear focus on Mr.Ray. a teaser campaign was run in the press and outdoor boards with ads in Gujarati. The campaign ran with an interesting idea “new incarnation of sun power…coming soon” due to global warming, the solar energy is in focus nowadays, so the company projected how the traditional source of energy could be merged with modern trend for getting the attention of the target audience. All this effort had given good press coverage too. Now the sound of word Mr.Ray was easily converted into a character with a sword in hand, hair has the sun power and a man having strong muscles. Post exhibition activities of the company in Gujarat resulted in a 32% increase in sales. The aim of the first phase, namely better recall, was thus successfully achieved. Most of the small business does not realize the importance of mascots or characters in building their brand identity. If applied in the appropriate manner, these mascots or brand characters are highly effective in giving a better recall. Companies which are in the process of designing a brand identity or reviving the existing brand identity for the entire company or a product must understand that the strategy in consideration must be to develop simple visuals for a better recall.           


Marketers need to understand that the sound in an ad crates visuals in mind. As a result, the visual representation of brand identity has to be as simple as possible and not be a complex piece of modern art. The horizontal proportion is the best proportion to have a brand identity which gets easily recalled. In order to develop a winning proposition, marketers must balance voice and visuals while designing the brand identity.


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4 Responses to “Designing Brand Identity For Better Recall”

  1. mr chakachak Says:


    cant read the arcticle….give us better copy or link to read.


  2. How I Shed T h i r t y P o u n d s in Only a Month Says:

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  3. Raj Says:

    Hey, that’s amazing… too informative and educative as well…keep it up…


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